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Flashcards in PSY395 Exam 2 Deck (63):


A systematic form of inquiry, based on observation, prediction, reasoning, and testing.
A method.
Used to
-Test our hypotheses:
-can be refined or accepted
-scientific knowledge is refined/altered
-findings should be replicated
-science should be self-correcting



Using verifiable evidence as the basis for conclusion.



Too much going on at once.


Dr. Benjamin Rush

Pioneer of "bloodletting" treatment.
Too much blood --> illness
After bleeding, some people recovered, some people died.
Theory was not falsifiable (right if patient lied, right if patient died).
Should have had a comparison group to compare treat patients to untreated patients.



Science is intended to explain a certain proportion (but not necessarily all) of the possible cases.
Look for patterns across large groups of people.
Conclusions should apply to a certain (opefully high) proportion of people.



Thinking the easy way - some ideas are easier to believe than others.


The Good Story

Easier to believe something that "makes sense"
Self-verification theory - you want people to verify what you believe about yourself. Even the bad.


The Present/Present Bias

The tendency to rely only on what is present and ignore what is absent when evaluating the evidence fro a conclusion.
-We tend to remember events in which the treatment and the desired outcome was present but not other instances (desired outcome did not follow treatment or treatment did not precede desired outcome)


Availability Heuristic (pop-up principle)

The tendency to rely predominantly on evidence that easily comes to mind rather than use all possible evidence in evaluating some conclusion (death by fire or death by falling).


Cherry-picking evidence (positive test bias)

People tend to seek and accept evidence that supports what we already think and what we want to think.


Overconfidence (sort of bias blind spot)

People tend to be overconfident in our ideas.
Research shows that confidence does not mean one is correct.
-Eyewitness testimony.


Asking biased questions (confirmatory hypothesis testing)

Told participants ot interview fellow students
-Half were told to decide if the target person was introverted
-Half were told to decide if the target person was extraverted
Asked biased questions
-Introverted condition: "What factors make it hard for you to really open up to people?"
-Extraverted condition: 'What would you do if you wanted to liven things up at a party?"


Goals of (Psychological) Science

Description: observational research
Prediction: correlational research
Explanation: experimental research
Change/Application: real world uses.


Basic Research

Research driven by a scientists curiosity in a scientific question. Goal is to enhance the general body of knowledge. (How did the universe begin?)


Applied Research

Research designed to solve practical problems, rather than acquire knowledge for knowledge's sake. (Do dopamine levels shape the severity of schizophrenia?)


Translational Research

Conducting research in a way that makes the results of basic research applicable to solving practical problems. Translate the findings from basic efficiently and quickly to practice.


Laboratory Research

Research taking place in a controlled setting, Our aim is to improve our ability to draw causal conclusions. - Control to determine causality.


Field Research

Research taking place outside of the lab where the researcher gives up the control a lab offers in hopes of improving the ability to generalize the results to settings outside the lab.


Quantitative Research

A category of research in which results are presented as numbers, typically in the form of descriptive and inferential statistics.


Qualitative Research

A category of research activity characterized by a narrative analysis of information collected in the study: can include case studies, observational research, interview research.
-Typically the conclusions in a qualitative research are understood as sample specific.



A research procedure in which some factor is varied, all else is held constant and some result is measured.



Research investigating the relationships between naturally occurring variables and with studying individual difference.


Research Question

Can be answered through objective observations.
Question is broad, but precise enough to allow predictions to be made in the form of research hypotheses.
Be able to answer question with data.
Terms must be precisely defined or at least be able to be precisely defined.
Operational definitions.


How to develop research/empirical questions

Everyday observations of behavior
Serendipity: act of discovering something while looking for something else entirely. (penicillin, lazy grad student let mold grow).
The need to solve a practical problem
Common Sense
Other research



A set of logically consistent statements about some behavioral phenomenon that
-best summarizes existing empirical knowledge of the phenomenon
-organizes this knowledge in the form of precise statements of relationships among variables (laws)
-provides a tentative explanation for the phenomenon
serves as the basis for making predictions about future data
A systematic body of ideas about a particular topic of phenomenon (not just an idea), grounded in data collected from actual research.
Never complete, continually updated in light of new scientific evidence supporting or negating a theory's claims.
New theories can emerge that can replace existing theories.



A hypothetical factor that is not observed directly rather its existence is inferred from certain situations.



A statement that makes an assertion about what is true in a particular situation, about the relationship between two or more variables.
-Prediction about specific events that is derived from a theory



Logic is the study of the strength of the evidential link between the premises and conclusions of arguments.
When we evaluate an argument, we are interested in two things: are the premises true? Supposing that the premises are true, what sort of support do they give to the conclusion?



Reasoning where the conclusions follow from the premises with logical necessity.
A valid argument DOES NOT guarantee a true conclusion.


Modus Ponens

Affirming the antecedent.


Modus Tollens

Denying the consequent.


Deductively Valid

The truth of the premises guarantees the conclusion.
An argument is deductively valid if and only if it is impossible that its conclusion is false while its premises are true.


Deductively Invalid

The conclusion may be false even if the premises are true.



Logical process of reasoning from specific events.
Drawing general conclusions from specific instances.
Reasoning proceeds from particular data to a general theory.


Inductively Strong

An argument is inductively strong if and only if it is improbable that its conclusion is false while its premises are true and it is not deductively valid.
The degree of inductive strength depends on how improbably it is that the conclusion is false while the premises are true.


Inductive Argument

Intended to provide probable support for conclusions.
Validity is not relevant here - only strong or weak
Concerned with the strength of the argument, at best, the conclusion from an inductive argument is only probably true.
Strong inductive arguments are ones that work well (let us have high confidence in the conclusion)
Weak inductive arguments are ones that don't work well (leave us with little confidence in the conclusion)
Conclusion makes factual claims that go beyond the factual information in the premises (more specific).
When an argument is not deductively valid but nevertheless the premises provide good evidence for the conclusion, the argument is "inductively strong."


Internal Principles

Basic entities and processes invoked by the theory and the laws to which they are assumed to conform.


Bridge Principles

How the processes envisaged by the theory are related to empirical phenomena with which we are already acquainted.
Called the Connectivity Principle which states that a new theory must make contact with previously established empirical facts. Or, a new theory must account for old facts while explaining new facts.
Ensures the cumulative progress of science.


Operational Definition

A definition of a concept or variable in terms of precisely described operations, measures, or procedures.


Converging Operations

Our understanding of a behavioral phenomena is improved with a series of investigations all using slightly different operational definitions and experimental procedures, nonetheless converge on a common conclusion.


Theory vs. Hypothesis

A theory is organized system of ASSUMPTIONS that attempts to explain certain phenomena and how they are related.
A hypothesis is a reasoned prediction about some outcome that should occur under certain circumstances.
--Use hypotheses to test theories.



A measure of how much two variables change together.


Pearson's r

Measure of the size of a linear relationship between two variables.
Perfect negative (-1) to perfect positive (1).



Attempts to explain and predict observable phenomena in terms of a few general laws.



The process by which scientists quantitatively represent properties of an object or construct under investigation.


Selecting a measure

We want a reliable and a valid measure of whatever we study.


Measurement error

Noise: caused by factors that randomly affect the variables across the sample.


Systematic Error

Extraneous factors systematically influence the measurement (and usually in a single direction).


Internal Consistency Reliability

Random error affects responses to items on an assessment.


Test-retest Reliability

There are random errors that perturb the measurement from one occasion to the next.


Inter-rater observability Reliability

Raters differ in how they classify a phenomenon


Internal Consistence/Reliability

To what extent is a measure consistent with itself.
The measures obtained with different items ought to be similar.


Alternate Forms Correlation

"I like to ride bicycles" and "I've enjoyed riding bicycles in the past" should have a strong agreement.
"I hate bicycles" if disagreement with the above statements, good internal consistency of the test.


Cronbach's Alpha

Can do split-half reliability for a million different combinations to measure inter-item correlation.


Test-Retest Reliability

The extent to which our measurement at one point in time do not perfectly correlate with scores at another point in time.


Inter-rater Reliability

Degree to which 2 independent observers agree about their observations.



The extent to which a measure of X truly measures X and not Y.
Does it measure what it should?


Content validity

Are the actual items on a test consistent with the scientist's understanding of the construct the test measures?


Face validity

Does it look like what it's supposed to measure?


Criterion Validity

Can the measure accurately forecast future behavior?


Convergent and discriminant validity

Is a measure (un)related to some other measure of behavior?


Construct Validity

Does a particular measurement truly measure the construct?


Relationship between Validity and Reliability

Possible to have reliability and not validity
but not possible to have validity and not reliability.